International Wheelchair Basketball Federation

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Wheelchair Basketball
Highest governing body
  1. ISMGF (1956–1973) No Organ
  2. ISMGF (1973–1989)
  3. ISMGF and IWBF (1989–1993)
  4. IWBF (1993–Now)

The International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) is the international governing body for the sport of Wheelchair Basketball. IWBF is recognized by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) as the sole competent authority in wheelchair basketball worldwide.[1] International Basketball Federation (or FIBA) has recognized IWBF under Article 53 of its General Statutes.


The Stoke Mandeville Wheelchair Games, held in 1947, were the first games to be held and included only a handful of participants (26), and few events (shot put, javelin, club throw, and archery). The number of wheelchair events and participants grew quickly. Wheelchair netball was introduced in the 1948 Games. In 1952, a team from the Netherlands was invited to compete with the British team. This became the first International Stoke-Mandeville Games (ISMG), an event that has been held annually ever since. Wheelchair basketball, as we know it now, was first played at the 1956 International Stoke-Mandeville Games. The US "Pan Am Jets" team won the tournament.[2]

In 1973, the International Stoke Mandeville Games Federation (ISMGF) established the first Sub-section for wheelchair basketball. At that time ISMGF was the world governing body for all wheelchair sports. In 1989, ISMGF accepted the name International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) for its former sub-section. With this step wheelchair basketball began its journey for full independence and in 1993 IWBF was established as the world body for wheelchair basketball with full responsibility for development of the sport. Over the next five years IWBF membership grew in size and the federation configured itself into 4 geographical zones.



IWBF studied several models before creating its current zone structure. Based on the number of National Organizations for Wheelchair Basketball (NOWB) with active programs at the national and international level it was decided that IWBF Americas and IWBF Europe could be the same as FIBA Americas and FIBA Europe. However, because of the limited number of countries with active programs in the rest of the world, IWBF chose to combine some regions to create better developmental and competitive opportunities within the zone. As a result, the last two zones of IWBF (2005) are IWBF Asia Oceania and IWBF Africa.

Before 2007 or 2005 Africa and west asian in one zone and east asia with oceania in one zone.

Members in May 2022:[3][4][5][6]

  1. IWBF Americas - Americas Wheelchair Basketball Championship - 20 Members
  2. IWBF Europe - European Wheelchair Basketball Championship - 35 Members
  3. IWBF Asia Oceania - Asia Oceania Wheelchair Basketball Championships - 26 Members
  4. IWBF Africa - Africa Wheelchair Basketball Championship - 17 Members

National Members[edit]

As of 2003, IWBF has 76 NOWB actively participating in wheelchair basketball throughout the world with this number increasing each year. As of 2021, IWBF has 95 NOWB actively participating in wheelchair basketball throughout the world with this number increasing each year. 98 in May 2022.

  1. IWBF Asia Oceania 26
  2. IWBF Africa 17
  3. IWBF America 20
  4. IWBF Euro 35

IWBF Asia Oceania[edit]

  1. Afghanistan
  2. Australia
  3. Bahrain
  4. Cambodia
  5. China
  6. Chinese Taipei
  7. Hong Kong
  8. Indonesia
  9. India
  10. Iran
  11. Iraq
  12. Japan
  13. Jordan
  14. Korea
  15. Kuwait
  16. Lebanon
  17. Malaysia
  18. Nepal
  19. New Zealand
  20. Oman
  21. Palestine
  22. Philippines
  23. Saudi Arabia
  24. Singapore
  25. Thailand
  26. United Arab Emirates


  1. Algeria
  2. Angola
  3. Burkina Faso
  4. Central African Republic
  5. Egypt
  6. Ethiopia
  7. Gambia
  8. Kenya
  9. Liberia
  10. Morocco
  11. Namibia
  12. Nigeria
  13. Rwanda
  14. South Africa
  15. Rwanda
  16. Tanzania
  17. Uganda


  1. Argentina
  2. Bolivia
  3. Brazil
  4. Canada
  5. Chile
  6. Colombia
  7. Costa Rica
  8. Dominican Republic
  9. Ecuador
  10. El Salvador
  11. Guatemala
  12. Honduras
  13. Mexico
  14. Nicaragua
  15. Panama
  16. Peru
  17. Puerto Rico
  18. Uruguay
  19. USA
  20. Venezuela


  1. Armenia
  2. Austria
  3. Belgium
  4. Bosnia & Herzegovina
  5. Bulgaria
  6. Croatia
  7. Cyprus
  8. Czech Republic
  9. Denmark
  10. Finland
  11. France
  12. Germany
  13. Great Britain
  14. Greece
  15. Hungary
  16. Ireland
  17. Israel
  18. Italy
  19. Latvia
  20. Lithuania
  21. Malta
  22. Netherlands
  23. Norway
  24. Poland
  25. Portugal
  26. Romania
  27. Russia
  28. Serbia
  29. Slovak Republic
  30. Slovenia
  31. Spain
  32. Sweden
  33. Switzerland
  34. Turkey
  35. Ukraine

Executive Council[edit]

IWBF President Maureen Orchard leads the team managers' meeting, 2010

IWBF is governed by an Executive Council that is elected at the World Congress every four years. Philip Craven (Great Britain) who had served as Chairperson of the ISMGF wheelchair basketball Section since 1988 was elected in 1993 as the first President of IWBF.

In 2001, Brendan Hancock was elected to the position of President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and retired as president of IWBF at the World Congress in 2002. Maureen Orchard (Canada) was elected as only the second president of IWBF at that same World Congress in Kitakyushu, Japan in 2002.


In order to make the competitions fair, each player receives a point in regard their physical ability called class, from 1.0 which is the lowest class with the maximum physical disability to the 4.5 which is highest class with the lowest physical disability.

The person who performs classification called classifier. Classifiers have Bronze, Silver and Gold badges according to their knowledge and experience. Recently the classification rules made changes and have only two levels, namely the national classifier, the zone classifier and the International Classifier. [1]

Don Perriman (Australia) is the current President of Classification Commission

Kenneth McKay (Great Britain)

Gold Classifier

Gholamhossein Shahrabadi (Iran)

Gold Classier

Toufic Allouch (Lebanon)

Wheelchair basketball national organizations around the world[edit]

Wheelchair basketball national organizations have developed in a variety of ways. Most started out the same way as IWBF, as a sub-section of a national wheelchair sport organization. As IWBF matured so did many of its member organizations and now there are several models that IWBF embraces within its membership. In Mexico the wheelchair basketball organizations are a part of their National Paralympic Committee(NPC). Australia is part of the Australian Wheelchair Athletes Ltd., and others are under the umbrella of a National Disabled Federation such as Bahrain who are part of the Bahrain Disabled Sports Federation. In the Netherlands wheelchair basketball is fully integrated into the Nederlandse Basketball Bond and in Canada the Canadian Wheelchair Basketball Association is fully independent. In all cases where a member is part of a larger federation the IWBF only recognizes the part of that federation responsible for wheelchair basketball.

Member organizations[edit]



  1. ^ Brittain, Ian (2016-07-01). The Paralympic Games Explained: Second Edition. Routledge. p. 45. ISBN 978-1-317-40415-6.
  2. ^ Otero, Michael (21 May 2011). "Sprint, agility, strength and endurance capacity in wheelchair basketball players". Biology of Sport. 32 (1). Biology of sports: 71–81. doi:10.5604/20831862.1127285. PMC 4314607. PMID 25729153.
  3. ^ "IWBF Asia Oceania". 8 November 2017. Archived from the original on 2022-01-09.
  4. ^ "IWBF Africa". 8 November 2017. Archived from the original on 2022-01-12.
  5. ^ "IWBF Americas". 8 November 2017. Archived from the original on 2022-01-10.
  6. ^ "IWBF Europe". 10 January 2018. Archived from the original on 2021-12-31.

External links[edit]